Saturday, 17 October 2015

Knitted dresses

I like knitting (although I prefer crochet). And at this time of year, for the past few years, I've dusted off my knitting needles and started work on Christmas pressies for one or both nieces.

Last year I made this dress - Meredith knitting pattern (Ravelry link). I originally printed it off when it was a free pattern on Let's Knit Magazine website. It's now available as a paid for download from the author.

Beautiful (if I do say so myself). Very intricate lace pattern at the top and bottom of the dress makes it look very girly. But it took me several unravellings and re-starts to get that lace section.

My top tip for dealing with a complex lace pattern is to add a stitch marker between every repeat and studiously count each repeat on each row to ensure you keep the correct number of stitches.

This year I picked a much more clean, classic and straightforward design - the River Dress by Nadia Crétin-Léchenne (Ravelry link).

Photo: Nadia Crétin-Léchenne
The challenge with this pattern was the way it is written. Instructions were basic such as "After 19 raglan increases, there's 58 stitches for the front", but raglan increases with a pattern on the front isn't that easy, or at least it wasn't that easy for me.

My top tip for stitching a pattern with basic instructions is to translate it into instructions you can follow row by row. It takes time, but not as much time as restarting the project every time you identify that you've gone wrong. In the case of this pattern I wrote out row by row the number of stitches for the front, back and two sleeves. I also knitted a swatch of the wave pattern so I could practice it.

It's growing nicely.

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